Salon has a very good piece up explaining how Fox News has used white male grievance and outright racism to do political damage to our first black president, Barack Obama.
From the article, we are reminded of this overarching white-man grievance against civil rights in America…..
[B]asically, if you’re talking about a day like today, Martin Luther King Junior Day, and you’re gonna understand what civil rights has become, the con it’s become in this country. It’s a whole industry; it’s a racket. It’ s a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males’ birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn’t qualify for it. Take a guess out of whose hide all of these rights are coming. They’re not coming out of women’s hides.
Are they? No, there’s only one group that’s targeted, and that group are white, heterosexual males. They are the new witches being hunted by the illiberal left using the guise of civil rights and fairness to women and whatnot.
That was from the maniac Michael Savage in 2007. But what Savage said has become the central theme of Fox criticism directed towards President Obama since 2008. Many white male conservatives think about civil rights the way Savage described it. Civil and equal rights for black Americans, if one has paid attention to Fox these past 6 years, comes at a cost to white Americans. If black Americans receive benefits from government……conservatives believe…..those benefits come at the expense of white Americans.
The early demonization of the ACA, aka Obamacare, and the bizarre obsession with repealing the health insurance law…..comes from the emotional mindset that whites, again, are, somehow, sacrificing for the sake of the “other.”
Here’s Glenn Beck, Fox’s designated Obama-hitter at the time, explaining…..
“Everything getting pushed through Congress—including this health care bill—is transforming America. And it’s all driven by President Obama’s thinking on one idea: reparations.”
Black president……so to white male grievance peddlers working for Fox….”everything” that black president favored, including the ACA, was for the purpose of paying back black Americans for slavery and Jim Crow.
If you recall, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin played a major role in stoking white resentment of Obama over the Affordable Care Act, aka “reparations.” Beck and Palin, with the help of CNN, and especially Fox promoters, were so brazen in their white-grievance peddling, they held a “Restoration” rally to the delight of thousands of white conservatives attending, on the anniversary date of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Ballsy, it was.
The Salon article goes on to quote Mr. White Conservative, Rush Limbaugh, and his comprehension of the 2009 “Obama stimulus”…..
“They want reparations. What they don’t know is that Obama’s entire economic program is reparations! If I were Sharpton, if I’d been guest hosting Sharpton’s show and I got a call like that, somebody complaining, I’d say, “Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhhh. Let me tell you the truth here. Everything in the stimulus plan, every plan he’s got is reparations. He gonna take from the rich. He’s going to take from the rich and he’s going to give it to you. It just can’t happen overnight. Be patient.” It’s redistribution of wealth, reparations, “returning the nation’s wealth to its rightful owners,” whatever you want to call it. It’s reparations.”
Congress and our first black president passed a $787 billion stimulus bill in early 2009 to attenuate the economic damage done to the nation by Wall Street professionals. Those realities were quickly translated into white-grievance-speak by resentful white conservatives, like Limbaugh, into a conspiracy by our first black president to mandate “reparations” for Americans who are not white. Grand Theft: Wall Street….quickly became….Grand Theft: Undeserving Minorities. Hey, Obama is black….what else could it be?
Ever wonder why average, non-rich, white GOP voters vote so often for the GOP and against their own interests? Because Republican name brand celebrities have explained to them, ad nauseum, that Democrats, and especially our nation’s first black Democratic president, only want to take from the white majority and give it to the black minority.
Overt racism…..the stuff I saw in the 60’s….is receding. That is a great thing for our society. Progress has been made. But sadly, the overt racism of the 60’s has been replaced with “covert” racist language today. You see, the white hatred for Obama is described today as a “disagreement over policies.”
It’s in the way that those policy differences are explained by conservatives where the new covert racism “dogwhistle”-approach manifests itself. It’s not that white conservatives are racist…..it’s that Obama’s policies are all designed to take stuff from white “patriots” and give it to undeserving minorities. See how that works?
Take the anti-science wing of the GOP…..mix in a portion of evangelical social policy backwardness in all things sexual……blend in a bit of libertarian “rugged individual” selfishness….and top it all off with a big helping of white male resentment disguised as policy differences…..and you have the recipe for the modern Republican Party.
Just don’t call them hateful…..or racist. That’s offensive.